Tag: Science

You’ll Be Amazed What Nothing Looks LIke

My friend and colleague Rick Moss shared this video from DeepAstronomy.com with his mailing list this morning. The still images are breath-taking. The commentary is remarkable. But wait until you get to the end and NASA puts the whole thing into 3D motion. If your chair has a seat belt, I respectfully suggest you fasten it. Tightly.

In his message, Rick said, "Nothing lasts forever." To which I can only say, "And so it is."

Light Bends Matter!

From my friend Elaine Bolduc comes a pointer to an article from LiveScience that scientists have proven that light can bend matter.

I find this sort of thing absolutely fascinating and yet not the least unexpected. We've known for more than 100 years that the Universe is really made up only of energy, that what we call "matter" is nothing more than energy whose vibrations fall within the range of what we can detect with our senses or measure with instruments that are extensions of our senses. It is, in a phrase, energy all the way down (and up, for that matter).

But this report of a series of experiments led by University of Michigan researcher Nicholas Kotov brings in another whole dimension defining the connection and intersection of these two seemingly disparate, cosmologically identical states of energy. The team were so surprised by their initial discovery that they spent the next three and one-half years confirming it and trying to understand it. "To be honest, it took us three and a half years to really figure out how photons of light can lead to such a remarkable change in rigid structures a thousand times bigger than molecules," Kotov said.

Kotov and his team published their findings in the March 17 issue of the esteemed Journal Science. (You can read the original by going to Science and searching for Kotov. It requires a free registration to access the content but if you're interested in science, it's well worth it.)

Immortal Jellyfish

Now this is really intriguing. There is a species of jellyfish that, in certain situations, can regenerate all of its cells to their youngest state and return to its polyp stage and then begin growing and maturing all over again! Hard to believe, right? Check it out

I found it almost as interesting that only under certain conditions — including, apparently, "starvation, physical damage or another crisis" — does this regenerative process occur. This implies that this jellyfish has cellular-level intelligence that somehow knows when its existence is threatened by a crisis of a specific kind. That is an evolutionary advantage to be envied.

Thanks to my good friend Harvey Kraft for the pointage.

We Truly Are Beings of Light: Biophotonics and Metaphysics

Today I presented the lesson at our church on the topic, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Life." I explored the metaphysical meaning of Light, talked about recent discoveries about the application of light to the biological sciences, and finished up with some discussion of the healing implications of Light. Much of my talk was built around the understanding that we as humans, in addition to absorbing light in many ways and for many purposes, also emit light in the form of ultra-low-energy light emissions called biophotons

Among other things, I learned and discussed ways in which biophotons can provide clues to the early detection of cancer and other conditions and diseases that alter the output of the tiny light beams. I cited work done by John N. Ott and reported in his book Health and Light, and by modern optical doctors such as Jacob Liberman, whose LIGHT: Medicine of the Future provides an outstanding introduction to the field of light healing. 

I found a 2009 paper by R. P. Bajpai particularly intriguing. Comprising for the most part a fairly comprehensive review and overview of the field, the essay ends with some speculation on the possibility of biophotons affecting the thinking, moods, and behaviours of human beings, linking philosophical visions of life with the physical world.

All in all, heady and (if you'll pardon the half-pun) enlightening stuff. If you're interested in this topic and want to discuss it further, please feel free to join my site and comment on it or email me at onemind at danshafer dot com.

Sages & Scientists Symposium Promises Experience of a Lifetime

I have the great privilege and delight of attending the First Annual Sages & Scientists Summit sponsored by Deepak Chopra's foundation in Carlsbad, CA, this weekend. My long-time interest in the convergence of ancient wisdom and modern (particularly quantum) science is being fed by being in the presence of some of the greatest minds in the world who are thinking about these subjects today. And if the first night is any indication, it's going to be life-changing for me.

Not only did I sit at a table with three absolutely fascinating and brilliant people; not only did we hear from Dr. Hans-Peter Duerr, one of the most famous scientists of our age; not only did Chopra open with his usual melange of insightful wisdom with a brief presentation titled "Does God Have a Future?" (the answer was yes and no). But on top of all that I was able to spend about 20 minutes chatting with one of my heroes of the quantum physics revolution, Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, aka "Dr. Quantum" of movie and TV fame. 

I sought him out to ask him about a subject I've been spending a lot of time in thought experiment and writing about lately, the concept I call Energy Patterns. It is my theory that the Quantum Field (aka Akashic Field aka ethereal soup) that interconnects All That Is and that may well be All That Is (as Wolf put it, "the mind of God"), is composed of the infinite variety of interference patterns created when different energies come into contact with one another. Fred suggested that he thinks this idea is original and possibly important and agreed to read my forthcoming paper on the subject, a prospect at which I am really thrilled.

Today promises 12 hours of in-depth panel symposia and lectures on some of the most important and interesting thinking and research going on in this vital area under the symposium theme "The Merging of a New Future." I can hardly wait!

Not Quite Water Into Wine, But a Successful Experiment in Intention

A group of people around the world who are interested in the role of human intention in scientific research recently performed a successful mass online experiment in an attempt to influence the acidity (pH) of a sample of tap water. The experiment, organized and conducted under the auspices of British science writer Lynne McTaggart, was statistically a qualified success.

The intention set by the participants was to lower the pH level of a randomly selected beaker of water by one. The group was able to lower the pH but not by a full unit. A control experiment conducted later under close to identical conditions demonstrated no such change. However, the degree of change was disappointingly small, its statistical significance marginal and the screening-out of extraneous forces and influences inadequate to draw a clear conclusion. But I do think the outcome is sufficiently positive to warrant additional work in this area and to give people like me who are interested in the subject reason for some optimism.

This was the 19th intention experiment conducted by Ms. McTaggart. Sixteen of them have been deemed by her successful and some were far more statistically successful than this one.

Next month she is teaming up with famed Japanese water researcher Masaru Emoto in four simultaneous experiments intended to affect the condition of the water in Lake Biwa.

Both McTaggart and Emoto — along, of course, with thousands of others like them — are frequent targets of criticism for their lack of complete scientific precision and controls. Such is life on the bleeding edge where science and spirituality converge. I know from personal experience that there is a great deal in human knowledge that cannot be known or proven by the scientific method, which is, after all, a set of rules for a specific set of scientific claims, not a comprehensive method for demonstrating or understanding Truth. Scientism has, in our culture, become a religion unto itself. That is not necessarily useful or desirable.

How Small We Are, How One We Are

One of my favorite mailing lists is the KarmaTube list. This morning, I got through them a link to one of the most breath-taking and marvelous short videos I've seen in a long time.

The video is based on something called the Digital Universe Atlas and is part of a larger exhibit called "Visions of the Cosmos: From a Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe" on display at New York's Rubin Museum of Art. This particular video is called "The Known Universe". I urge you to take a few minutes some time today and visit it. The sense of scope and proportion it may help you attain will be a good backdrop against which to launch yourself into the second decade of the 21st Century.

What a trip!

Sure Glad I Didn’t Get Up at 4 to See the Lunar Display

Well, that was a real dust-up. Or maybe I should say a dust-down. I got up this morning eager to see video of this early morning's NASA experiment only to find that there was no video and not even any interesting still imagery of the event.

NASA officials, who are far more interested in data than in stunning photography, are ecstatic at the success of the program but it's a bit of a PR crisis. The media — mainstream and otherwise — overhyped this event with some help from NASA. Though to be fair many of the more spectacular animations that had lots of people salivating over the visual impact of the crash were not generated by NASA.

The experiment will prove immensely valuable to the science community. But it's been quite some time since NASA had a PR event that captured the national imagination and they know full well that absent such fluff, they will face funding issues in a Congress not inundated by public demands to keep spending money on space exploration.